11 October 1974 - Aquarius Theater, Hollywood, California [Audio - Soundboard]

By-Tor X-1

Staff member


Track Listing:

01 - Finding My Way
02 - Best I Can

This is a very short recording, however it is indeed the entire performance, as Rush performed with three other acts during a concert that was filmed for the ABC television program "In Concert".
Best I Can is a shortened version of the song, since Rush really didn't have much time allowed to perform.
Official tour listings state the aforementioned date, venue and location as when and where Rush's performance for ABC's "In Concert" was filmed.
However, this performance did not air on television until 6 December 1974.
The footage is not known to have publicly surfaced, however this audio apparently has.
Check out the extended notes and research details in the post below, as you may find it to be pretty interesting.



By-Tor X-1

Staff member
Extended Notes:

Now here's another really confusing one when it came to verifying the date, venue and location. It took me a fair bit of digging and research to figure this all out. When I found these files they were labeled "6 December 1974 at ABC Studios, New York City, New York". However, upon cross referencing this information with the official tour listings on cygnus-x1.net (way more updated and accurate than the official site) as I do with every recording, it showed there was no performance on December 6, nor anything that could relate to ABC Studios in New York. So "ABC Studios in New York" isn't even a location that Rush performed at. The notes that came with these files mention "recorded for ABC's In Concert". Using this information, official tour listings point at only one result, that being the Aquarius Theater in Hollywood, California on 11 October 1974, which is said to have been filmed for ABC's "In Concert". With a bit of further research, the 6 December 1974 date was definitely the date it aired on television.

So wait, there's supposedly footage? I was wondering if this was all confused and mixed information about the "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" recording, which was a filmed and televised performance during the first tour. Upon first starting to research this, I found that "In Concert" was created by Don Kirshner, which confused me even more. The Don Kirshner footage exists, and many of us have likely seen it. Well Rush footage from the 70s and early 80s is largely non-existent, and the fact there is apparently two televised performances from the first tour had me questioning it. Well, they are both indeed their own and separate thing.

According to my research, Don Kirshner created the "In Concert" program for ABC in 1972. However, he left his association with the program in 1973, then created "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" also in 1973, while "In Concert" continued to air for several more years. So both programs were airing on television simultaneously for a couple of years. So while Rush's performance at the Aquarius Theater in Hollywood on October 11 was filmed for "In Concert", Rush's very next performance was five days later on October 16 at the Long Beach Auditorium Concert Hall in Long Beach, California, which was filmed for "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert". The Don Kirshner footage aired on 29 March 1975.

So why do we have the Don Kirshner footage but not the "In Concert" footage? I can't say with any certainty, though my assumption is the footage exists in ABC's archives and no one has bothered to touch it, whereas whoever possessed the copy of the Don Kirshner footage decided to release it. Then how did we get the audio only to surface? I have no idea to be honest. This recording was labeled as a soundboard recording, and by listening to it, it definitely seems so. Perhaps the audio was later used for a radio broadcast, then years later made it onto the internet? I really can't say, I can only speculate. This recording is definitely the real deal though. I listened and compared it to all other soundboard recordings of these songs, and it does not match with any. The recording is unique, and not another relabeled hoax.

Television archives list the December 5 "In Concert" episode as "Show 53", while the other acts alongside Rush were "Donovan", "Minnie Ripperton", and "Sly and the Family Stone". Footage from the latter two exist on YouTube, while the footage for Rush and Donovan are seemingly nowhere to be found. How did only part of the show surface? Was the footage in the artists' own archives, or was it in someone's personal television recordings? It's hard to say, being from the pre VCR and Betamax era.

Yet despite all that, the audio for Rush's performance somehow surfaced. The footage exists somewhere in some form, the question is where, and how hard would it be to find it? With enough attention and enough dedication, I do believe this can eventually be found one way or another.

Upon researching this recording, it also helped me realize part of what was being said in the badly muffled 1976 Springfield interview, which I was attempting to transcribe as much as possible. I remembered transcribing Neil and Geddy talking about Don Kirshner and what sounded like some other televised performance, but I couldn't make out the details. Going back, it definitely seems like they are talking about "In Concert". They describe it as a performance that was "butchered", being forced to cut out parts of songs to fit in less than 10 minutes. That seems to correlate with Best I Can being cut down to a shortened version of the song they have never played otherwise, even though this recording is only about 7 minutes in totality.

Another small detail that could make this even more confusing, is that the popular recording from the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland on 26 Aug '74 has certain CD releases named "ABC 1974", however these are completely different and unrelated recordings. I have no idea why that particular version of the August 26 Agora show is labeled "ABC 1974", as there is zero connection. Perhaps it cleverly means 'A'gora 'B'allroom 'C'leveland, and doesn't specify so? That's another topic though.

If you have further details, please feel free to post it here.